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Loyalty Programs Among Hotels and Airlines Attract Travelers

by Lux Joseph 21. April 2015

 

Now we all know that hotels seek to give their customers the best in customer satisfaction. As one enjoys their visit and the services offered, one is more inclined to return to that hotel, even prioritize it over many others. Yet hotels strive for more than just excellent services in order to win over the hearts of their customers, such as hotel-loyalty plans. This actually ends up being extremely important, as it increases each customer’s experience and satisfaction with that brand. Thus, like all things, hotels seek to improve and strive to be the best they can be in this regard

 J.D Powers took a survey of the change in satisfaction with different Hotel Loyalty and Rewards and it turned out that Hilton HHonors and Delta Privileges ended up being a tie for highest ranked satisfaction in their programs. To start, this survey looks at many different part of these loyalty plans, such as how easy it is to redeem points, how easily can one earn points, customer service, and even the rewards themselves. After looking into all of this, J.D. Powers was able to find that the overall satisfaction with these programs had increased from 676 in 2014 to 701 in 2015, along a 1000 point scale. The satisfaction score for Delta and Hilton HHonors both ended up being 727.

As the study was going on, several observations were made. For one, it turned out that reviews, awards, and online ratings seemed to help drive the satisfaction of these programs for its members as opposed to just word of mouth. What also aided in the growth of members satisfaction was the ability to earn points from purchases of goods and services. Yet one big factor which even helped people decide which program to sign up with was the convenience of the location compared to where these members planned on going.

It’s not hard to see why Delta was tied for first in ultimate membership satisfaction. For simply being a member, one earns the benefits of priority check in and wait list, express checkout, and free high-speed internet access with one’s stay. Yet the benefits continue to grow as one’s membership increases, including getting up to $500 credit for platinum plus members to spend on guest rooms, events, meetings, and dining.

Hilton has its own set of rewards as well, which was ranked equal to Delta, including complimentary access to fitness and health centers, every fifth night free, having a second guest stay free (assuming you’re a diamond member), and much more.

The loyalty rewards program has certainly boosted the overall amount of satisfaction that hotel program members have toward the brand they are loyal to, so if you aren’t part of one of these, it may be a good idea to change that quite soon, so long as you do your homework in what works best for you. We recommend speaking with your travel agent to ensure you are enrolled in all the programs available to you as a traveler. Our escorts are constantly flying to different parts around the world and those mileage points on preferred carriers can add up to a complimentary ticket, gift cards, and other great perks that the travel partners use to keep you coming back to their hotel/airline for future travel.

 

Hotel Rewards Programs Sources:

http://www.hotelsmag.com/Industry/News/Details/57626

http://hhonors3.hilton.com/en/explore/benefits/index.html

https://www.deltahotels.com/Delta-Privilege/Member-Benefits

Luxury Living: The Most Expensive Cities in the World

by Lux Joseph 2. April 2015

For the most part, we all enjoy traveling; whether that involves venturing into an unknown part of our surroundings or setting course for a foreign and mysterious country altogether, people like to travel. Yet there is always that one place that is just so great we often take the time to sit back and wonder how wonderful it would be if we had actually lived there. What would it take to live there comfortably and could it actually happen? Well, if you were thinking of living in one of the cities about to be mentioned, you’d better talk those plans over with your wallet.

The Economist Intelligence Unit came out with a survey listing the top ten most expensive cities in the world, and for those of you wondering, New York was 26th on the list. In fact New York is set as the base standard that other cities are compared to. At the very top of that list is Singapore in Asia. Singapore is a stand-alone city-state and because of this, it has to gain its resources, including electricity and water, from other neighboring countries. This can get very expensive, leading to higher utility cost. The transportation costs are also close to triple what it takes to get around NY. Not to mention the higher grocery prices and clothing prices, which is 50% more than that of New York. With all that to keep in mind, it’s no wonder why Singapore made top of the list two years in a row.

Another city on the list is Seoul, South Korea. While Seoul ties with Singapore when it comes to clothing expenses, what make this city really difficult to live in are the high prices for everyday food items. Fashion you could go on without, but food happens to be a pretty important part of our everyday life. Using the dollar to show the difference, a single kg loaf of bread in Singapore would go for roughly $3.50, while the same loaf of bread would cost an average of $13.00 in Seoul. This alone sets Seoul up for being a really expensive place and maybe even difficult place to live in. If you can’t afford to eat then you might as well not worry too much about the other necessities either. When CME has done transports to Seoul, the escorts have experienced and can relate to this cost difference when it comes to getting a meal before their transport.  

Standing on its own when representing Europe, Paris is the only European country to make it into the top ten list. With its generally high living expenses all around, the only thing you can look forward to are the relatively cheaper prices of alcohol and tobacco, and while that’s a lot of people’s dreams, it would be ideal if you at least had an apartment to enjoy such luxuries in. When it comes to arranging accommodations in Paris, hotels are priced relatively well compared to other areas of the world. Of course seasons depict different rates, but CME definitely sees a significant increase in costs when it comes to ground transportation. A sedan transfer in Germany that would be $125 could be more than double in Paris.

Others on the list included Osio, Zurich, Sydney, Melbourne, Geneva, Copenhagen, and Hong Kong (Which was tied with Seoul). If you’re really considering a move to one of these cities, it’s highly recommended that you consult your financial advisor to make sure that your bank can take the amount of pressure being placed on your funds. Otherwise, just enjoy your stay and let it be a happy memory that you can cherish in your comforts of your affordable abode. 

At CME, our nurses and physicians travel to all points of the world. They use currencies from dollars to pounds to euros to yen depending on their destinations. Of course anywhere you travel do will encounter tourist traps with inflated prices, but as you venture out to local areas you soon find out why some of these cities are recognized as some of the most expensive cities in the world.

Sources: 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/singapore-most-expensive-city-for-living-seoul-most-expensive-for-food-1.2263545#

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/04/most-expensive-cities-world_n_6793688.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-2977215/World-s-expensive-cities-revealed-Singapore-tops-charts-again.html

 

Delta Flight 1086 Skids Off Runway at LaGuardia Airport

by Lux Joseph 6. March 2015

On Thursday, March 5th, Delta Flight 1086, coming from Atlanta, attempted to land in LaGuardia Airport during heavy snow. After the plane touched ground, about halfway through the  7,000 foot long runway it began to slide off towards Flushing Bay, breaking through a fence and stopping on an embankment just short of the icy water.

LaGuardia Airport is known for it’s short runways in comparison to other airports and for it’s close location to the waterfront of Flushing Bay.  More so, being close to three other airports, pilots are forced to navigate through tight turns while preparing to land. Since other airports have more runway space, planes landing in them normally glide over part of the runway before landing. John M. Cox, a former US Airways Pilot, now CEO of consultancy Safety Operating Systems, told ABC news “You put the airplane on the ground and land it.”.

Should a plane accidentally overshoot the landing, the Federal Aviation Administration made it mandatory that at the end of each runway there should be an engineer materials arrestor system. This would act as a measure to be sure the plane stops, as it’s wheels would sink into the material, acting to slow the plane down. The issue was that the plane began to slide off the runway about halfway through, at 4,000 feet.

Because the runway extends onto a steel pier over the water this makes it easy for the runway to freeze over, which would make landing more difficult in very cold conditions. Steve Blazejewski told the New York times that he remembered “skidding forward but veering off to the left.”

To add on to what happened, Jared Faellaci stated, “The wheel felt like they didn’t take, we were going so fast.” He goes on to say “One or two seconds later we skidded off to the left side of the runway.  We skidded for about 20 seconds, and you could feel that we had gone off the pavement. It wasn’t a smooth surface anymore, it was very bumpy.”

According to Patrick Foye, the executive director of the port authority, the runway had been plowed minutes before the incident. He stated that other pilots who had landed earlier “reported good braking action. ”

As the plane approached the river, it was stopped by the bern, which was used to stop the bay from flooding onto the airport runways. Foye said, “The plane did not make contact with the water.” While there was a minor fuel leak, it was quickly dealt with. The passengers made it off the plane safely, using the right wing to get down because the chutes did not deploy.

Jared Kaufman, one of the passengers, told ABC news “As we walked across the runway, it was covered with so much snow that I was wondering: who decided it was safe to land here?”

The airport was closed for several hours after the incident. At around 2:30, LaGuardia airport reopened one of its runways. It was initially reported that the runway would be closed until 6:00pm however all appropriate parties handled the situation very efficiently.

This isn’t the first incident LaGuardia Airport has had during the winter season. On March 2, 1994 Continental Airlines flight 705 began to skid during it’s take off, and found itself on the berm. Around 30 injuries were reported then.

There was an earlier incident on March 23, 1992, where a plane, holding 51 passengers, was trying to take off during a snowstorm and ended up crashing into Flushing Bay, killing 27 passengers.

At Commercial Medical Escorts, safety is a number one priority for our patients, nurses, physicians, and their families. Our dedicated safety committee in collaboration with our operations team, constantly are reviewing and analyzing our transports to ensure safety protocols are being met. It is important that we look at this from all angles to ensure we deliver our patients with a smiling face and peace of mind for every transport.


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